Stroke risk associated with SSRI Antidepressant Medications

Medication - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers found there is an increased risk for stroke from taking SSRI antidepressant medications; however the study did show that the risk was low. The study was published in the October 17, 2012 online issue of Neurology.

The researchers looked at data from 16 studies that investigated a combined 500,000 participants. The participants had been taking SSRIs antidepressant medication and in this meta-analysis they wanted to see if there was an increased rate for stroke in the SSRI medication group compared to a group that didn’t take the medication.

The people who took SSRIs were at a 50 percent increased risk for having an intracranial hemorrhage compared to the group who did not take the medication. The SSRI takers were also around a 40 percent increased risk for having an intracerebral hemorrhage compared to the non-SSRIs group.

The study’s author, Daniel G. Hackam, MD, PhD, FRCPC, of Western University in London, Ontario, explained that these kinds of strokes are very rare and the risk for the average person is very low. They said that only 24.6 people out of 100,000 have this type of stroke each year. The SSRI takers would have an increased risk of 1 additional stroke per 10,000 people, or around 34.6 strokes per 100,000 people each year.

Hackman added that people should still take SSRI when necessary and that generally these kinds of medications are safe. The risk of untreated depression may be worse than treating with the appropriate medicine. He suggested that doctors might want to prescribe a different type of antidepressant for people who already have a known risk factor for having these strokes. These risks include taking blood thinners, people who have had related strokes, and those that suffer from severe alcoholism.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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